Choosing your favorite village in Provence is a little like choosing your favorite child…..an impossible task!! You love them all! Though I try to be impartial, there are a few special villages that have captured my heart. Come along with me over the next few weeks and I’ll take you to some of my favorites.
Let’s start in L’Isle sur la Sorgue. Phonetically, you would pronounce this something like … Leel sur la sorg. But roll that “r” in the back of your throat.
L’Isle sur la Sorgue is known as the “Venice of Provence”, for the Sorgue River that splits just north of town, and winds it’s way through the village via a network of canals. I’m not sure I’d call it the “Venice of Provence”, but I would definitely call it the “San Antonio Riverwalk of Provence”. My daughter calls it “the easiest place to get lost in the world”, but that’s another story….(something about mom’s ability to get hopelessly lost even with the rental car’s GPS system, whose annoying female voice my son nicknamed “Giselle”……her British accent got on my nerves after a while).
L’Isle Sur la Sorgue charms you with:
moss covered water wheels
narrow cobbled streets,
and patisseries with fluffy, mile-high meringue clouds my friend Babs would die for.
Sit outside in the evening and savor Provencal cuisine at one of the many outdoor cafes lining the crystal clear canals. Feed Mother Duck and her babies scraps of baguette as you wait for your entrée.
Admire the beautiful views from every turn:
If you go in mid-summer (recommended), as you approach the village, you will be greeted on the outskirts by fields of brilliant sunflowers……which I probably never would have stumbled upon if I hadn’t gotten us hopelessly lost! Good thing I didn’t listen to Giselle.
L’Isle Sur la Sorgue comes alive on Thursdays with a delightful Provencal market. And on Sundays, the village hosts the largest antique flea market in France, outside of Paris. Arrive very early if you have any hopes of finding a parking spot. Or better yet, spend Saturday night in one of the local hotels or inns and you’ll be in the heart of the action come Sunday morning.